X2: Wolverine's Revenge-- Gamers First Look

IGN's team of gaming maniacs give their critique to one of the new mult-platform X2 games coming out with the new movie. -- Jim

January 21, 2003 - Just like we did last spring with Spider-Man, gamers are expected to check out a big budget Marvel Comics based film and then grab the corresponding videogame on their way home from the theatre once "X-Men 2" and X2: Wolverine's Revenge are released. The third person adventure game "takes inspiration" from the upcoming Hugh Jackman movie following one of the subplots that has Wolverine trying to uncover the secrets of his past. While we doubt Marvel would let the truth about Logan's Weapon X past come out in a videogame, the Xbox, PC, GBA, PS2 and GameCube title should provide a little fun on this journey.

In Wolverine's Revenge we're actually transplanted back to the 1960s on more than one occasion to help Wolvie slash and hack is way to the evil scientists that that have infected him with a deadly virus. To set this game apart from others in the genre, developer Gene Pool (along with Warthog on the PS2 edition), is incorporating all of Wolverine's mutant powers into the combat system along with a clever level-up system to compel gamers to make the most of those abilities.

Wolverine has a health meter and a rage meter that drain and fill up during combat. For each hit from an enemy he takes, Wolvie will lose a small amount of health, but gain a little rage energy at the same time. The rage meter should fill before he runs out of health and dies, so when it does you'll have access to berserker rage attacks that make him faster and more deadly than normal. Wolverine's mutant healing ability will always automatically replenish his health as long as you keep his claws sheathed. Direct hits from landmines and grenades aren't even enough to stop him as long as you take the time to replenish his health.

You can activate Wolverine's enhanced senses all at the same time whenever you want. With enhanced senses on, you can see infrared heat signatures and detect the scents of hidden enemies (thanks to funky green clouds floating in the air), but Wolvie moves much slower. The infrared vision allows him to see footprints and buried objects like landmines, especially helpful when you're on the trail of an enemy or walk into a suspiciously clear open area. Enchanced senses is also when you'll be able to execute the stealth strikes in Wolverine's Revenge, a quick easy kill that's also a key element of the game's overall combat system.

When you execute a stealth strike, the downed enemy will cough up a dog tag that you can collect. Before you panic at the thought of a Metal Gear Solid 2 dog tag collection system, relax, it's not that serious. Collecting ten dog tags allows Wolverine to level up, giving him access to more devastating combo attacks. Sometimes the stealth strikes will yield a special situational attack move like slamming a guy's head into a window or computer console when he's standing near one. There are four levels you can power up to in the game and it always costs you ten dog tags. The combo moves themselves, however, are interesting on their own.

Wolverine has special multiple opponent attacks he can pull off when he's surrounded by enemies. The attacks are unique depending on the number of enemies and their orientation to Wolverine's position. So while it only takes one button press to unleash the attack once you see the flashing icons under his and the enemies' feet, Wolverine will throw one move if there's a guy to his left and a guy in front of him and he'll throw a totally different move if there's a guy to his left and one to his right. As you level up in the game, these multiple opponent attacks become more powerful and elaborate and the button sequence goes from one button press all the way up to four presses, in sequence. The multi-hit combos more or less initiate a seamless mini-cutscene of moves and end with the camera in a new position ready to follow the action. It ends up feeling similar to what we saw with Dead to Rights but with more characters involved.

It's called X2:Wolverine's Revenge but you can expect appearances from Colossus, Rogue, Beast, Magneto, Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth, Wendigo, Juggernaut and the voice of Professor X, played by Patrick Stewart. With 20 separate sections spread across six distinct levels and plenty of cinemas to hold the story together, Wolverine's Revenge is set to launch around the same time as the movie. IGN will have plenty of coverage between now and then.

-- Aaron Boulding
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